THE Tullamore Show is vital to the economy of Offaly, the chief executive of the County Council said last week.
Speaking at the show’s sponsors’ night, Anna Marie Delaney said it was fantastic to have an event bringing 60,000 visitors on one day and the council will capitalise on the opportunity by mounting a tourism promotion there.
“It contributes significantly to our tourism programme as well,” said Ms Delaney.
This year’s Tullamore Show and FBD National Livestock Show will take place on Sunday, August 11.
With a prize fund of €175,000 and more than 700 trade and machinery stands, the show is set to cement its reputation on the national calendar.
“It’s a national event, the premier national event of its kind in the country,” said Ms Delaney, the keynote speaker at the launch event in the Bridge House Hotel on Wednesday evening last week.
“Offaly County Council are delighted to continue to support the Tullamore Show in any way we can.”
Brenda Kiernan, show chair, told the sponsors that with their support the organising committee were able to improve the offering every year and the forthcoming show will have numerous new events, including Lego activities, the Senior All Ireland Home Cook champion, and the Bord Bia Seven a Day.
“As if we thought five a day wasn’t enough,” joked Ms Kiernan.
The show will once again take place at Butterfield Estate, Blueball and she thanked the site owners Stephen and Anne Marie McQuade.
Freda Kinnarney, show secretary and operations manager, said the sponsors’ night was an ideal opportunity for businesses and supporters to network in an informal setting.
“We realised how valuable our sponsors are to us so we decided we’d pick a night when we can sit and chat and eat,” stated Ms Kinnarney, as the hundreds of guests prepared for their buffet meal.
“It’a a great national network and we know people are very happy to be involved and we are very happy to be involved as well.”
FBD Insurance now sponsor the National Livestock Show at the Tullamore Show and its chief commercial officer, John Cahalan, said he was looking forward to building a strong and lasting relationship with the event.
FBD has a branch in Tullamore where Amanda Brennan is the manager.
“The Tullamore Show is a great reminder of the importance of agriculture in Ireland,” said Mr Cahalan, pointing out that it contributes €24 billion to the Irish economy each year.
Agriculture is also the greatest multiplier. “For every euro invested €4 is returned back into the Irish economy,” he stated.
He said the Tullamore Show is always “great fun” and praised the organisers for the “logistical masterpiece” that will take place on the day.
Describing Brenda Kiernan and Freda Kinnarney as “extraordinary people” he said the sponsors got value for money in an economic environment where getting a return on investment was very important.
The sponsors’ evening also showcased the Fashion Show at the Tullamore Show, coordinated by Carmel Duffy, and her namesake, model Ashling Duffy, was among many who wore millinery designs on the night.
Crafted wooden homeware from talented young Killeigh woodturner Conor Lynch was also promoted at the launch, along with Mor Gin, the Tullamore spirit distilled by local man Eoin Bara.
There are over 1,000 competition classes at the show, including everything from commercial and pedigree cattle to sheep and pigs; horses and dogs to horticulture and farm produce; cookery, food, crafts and needlework and much more.
There is a prize fund of €2,000 in the annual National Inventions Competition.
Entries can be made online (www.tullamoreshow.com) by Wednesday, July 10 and the closing date for postal entries (to the Show Office, Church St, Tullamore) is Wednesday, July 3.
Entry to the public is €20 at the gate on show day but there is a reduced rate for those who buy tickets online before Saturday, August 10.
There are also deductions for those who enter show competitions.
Declan Nerney and his band are among the performers at the country jamboree.